Friday, March 23, 2012

Capitalism's Superiority Complex, how it Manifests in Feminist Desire/Lack of Desire

   Recently, I've been re-reading Jane Sexes It Up, a series of essays examining contemporary feminism in its relation to sexuality. It describes this post-post-feminism (as labeled by Germaine Greer, one of my favorite feminist theorists) that acknowledges a patriarchal society, with all its injustices and inequalities, but nourishes a feminism of women who cannot be politically correct feminists in the context of sexuality, especially within heterosexual relationships. Frequently the essay contributors talk about the lack of sexual identity they have developed as adult women, due to feminism's restricting perspective on rape culture and gender identity; not being able to acknowledge they want it rough, and to feel sexual, not "asexual" as one author puts it.
    This is why an anarcha-feminist perspective is much needed within the world of feminism, apart from feminism being much needed in the world of anarchism.  I notice that these concerns of needing sexual liberation through being a stripper or grabbing the attention of a guy with the use of "femininity", comes out of confusing sex and gender within sexuality. Wanting sex is natural, being sexual is natural. Objectifying yourself in the hopes a man (or anyone for that matter) will look your way is not natural, and is a product of a patriarchal society that gears sexuality towards (white) men's (supposed) desires and not women's. Basing sexuality off of "he's such a man" or "I feel womanly" directly relates to either (a) showing body parts (b) gender roles, or (c) a mixture of the two. Showing sexual interest or being sexy isn't always showing body parts or giggling or objectifying the male or you opting to be objectified.
    Anarcha-feminism rejects gender roles, the idea that there are "feminine" attributes or "masculine" traits dictated by nature. Feeling "feminine" would only mean embracing the character traits that women are stereotyped as having, "masculine" being the perceived character traits of men, all of which are based merely on social conditioning. For instance, I do not believe all women want to be whisked away by Prince Charming, but I do believe people want love and attention from those we desire. Why must desire turn into objectification?
    Desiring an individual sexually does not merely mean physical attraction...even those who claim mere physical attraction must acknowledge that certain status symbols, body types, and accessories one wears provides clues to how a person is, which is why you find a particular type of person sexy and not another. Otherwise it becomes masturbation and objectification. This is where consent comes into play, if you respect a person's boundaries and are not merely in it for self-gratification, but acknowledge the other person's desires even if it is based on just pure bodily attraction, it is not objectification because you act in accordance to another's feelings, restrictions and desires. Anything not in accordance with another's expressed wishes is non-consensual and in my book, sexual assault. Practicing consent would eliminate much of the "I have to show my boobs to receive the sex I want" and seeming contradictions of feminism and desire by eliminating the objectification through verbal communication.
    Gender roles are very much ingrained in our social behaviors, so it is crucial to ask ourselves why we want men (or anyone for that matter) that expect us to be half naked in order to qualify as sexy? Why isn't my intellect sexy or the way I hold myself sexy? I don't want a person in my life that is immediately looking at me just as body and not a human being. The gender roles we are taught to accept, in even the most well-read feminists still exists to some degree, so we must challenge our motives.
    With that said, why do women feel the need to be submissive....or dominant for that matter? Both represent patriarchy at work, telling us there is no equality in sex only submission and dominance. Anarchism is the practice of no slaves or masters, so why should we want to be dominant just to prove women are capable of being "masculine"...which is basically the patriarchal why of saying abuser. When in fact, neither submission nor dominance that is consensual is truly just submission or just dominance - if you are a dominatrix for instance you still have to acknowledge the safe word, and if you're the sub, you have the power to stop any action you do not like. They are guises to play out fantasies that are based around a culture of sexuality that demeans women, or even others who exemplify "feminine" qualities that don't fit into the structured gender hierarchy of the porno-consumer culture that is sex in the United States.
    Look in, for example, a typical stereotype of homosexual relationships; there's the top and the bottom, the  submissive "feminine" one and the dominant "masculine" one. Submission and dominance are synonymous with feminine and masculine, and with true equality, we would be able to function as people without it orbiting around the idea of gender. Even the typical homosexual relationship fed to us through porno culture aka consumerism and media, is just mirroring hetero-normative culture.
    Of course, since there's no other way to get off, all we have are porn stars to show us our bodies and desires, which is manufactured by notions of acceptable and unacceptable sexuality, depending on your race, sexual orientation and body parts. So we practice this porno version of sex or no sex at all because talking about sexuality is deemed unacceptable.
   To practice consent, would essentially eliminate notions of superiority or inferiority but with all the rough (not violent) sex you want. Instead of wanting to be choked or wanting to choke another based on a culture of violence and gender we can create equality in sex. Not that its wrong that it gets you off, but to verbalize your desires, identify them to get to the point of examining them. Violence being a turn on should indicate a deeper psychological issue that stems from the way your sexuality has been formed initially in the first stages of development, either that or it was developed later in life, turning you on as a response to it being naughty or wrong, because sex is naughty or wrong, which is the same reason we don't talk about our desires or use consent. Violence leaks into sexuality because the world we live in is enforced with violence, and war, which is how we prove our superiority aka "masculinity" over resources and compete within the game of capitalism. Eliminating violence in our sex eliminates the gender hierarchy in our personal lives that seems to be causing feminists such a big problem. We must break our attachment to gender roles within sex, challenge the psychological abuse we've been taught that's enforced within patriarchy/heterosexuality, and in the way our abrasive consumer-capitalist cultures thrives in the mirco- and macrocosm. Voicing our true desires beyond the realm of gender gives us potential to create well-rounded people who are not oppressed by lack of sex or exploited by sex within capitalism and immediately threatens the hierarchy of capitalism, aka global white male oppression.  

Ok, rant done.   

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